Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics - 4/2/21 MLB Picks and Prediction

Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics - 4/2/21 MLB Picks and Prediction Photo by Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Athletics (0-0) vs Houston Astros (0-0)

Game Info: Friday, April 2, 2021 at 9:40 pm (Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum)

Jesus Luzardo (0-0) (0.00) vs Cristian Javier (0-0) (0.00)

Betting Odds: Oakland Athletics -130 / Houston Astros +120 --- Over/Under: 8.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The Oakland Athletics will host the Houston Astros in the second game of their season opening series. The Astros won the first game 8-1 on opening day, their ninth straight opening day win.

The Astros were just 6-14 during spring training, but looked like a contender on opening day. Houston led the whole way on Thursday, cruising to their first victory of the season. Zack Grienke pitched 6 shutout innings with 3 hits, no walks and 4 strikeouts. Michael Brantley was 3-4 with a homer and 2 runs scored. Alex Bregman was 2-4 with a HR, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored. As a team they were 2-10 with runners in scoring position, and left 8 men on base.

Houston will send young right-hander Christian Javier to the mound on Friday night. During his rookie season in 2020 he had a 3.48 ERA, 54 strikeouts and a 0.99 WHIP. During spring training he pitched in two games allowing zero runs with a 1.00 whip and 2 strikeouts.

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The Oakland Athletics were 16-10 in spring training before traveling to Houston on opening day. That preseason success was quickly forgotten Thursday when the A's fell behind early en route to an 8-1 defeat. Chris Bassit got the loss, going 5 1/3 and giving up 3 runs on 4 hits. The offense could not string together enough hits, as they were 1-8 with runners in scoring position, and left 7 men on base in the game. Ramon Laureano was 2-4 and scored the lone run for the Athletics. Chad Pinder also had a few hits, going 2-4 from the plate.

Oakland will start hard-throwing lefty Jesus Luzardo against the Astros on Friday. In 2020 he was 3-2 with a 4.12 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and 59 strikeouts. In spring training he was 1-1 with a 4.22 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 11 strikeouts.

The A's will face youngster Christian Javier in this one, who looked good coming out of the bullpen in 2020 and spring training. However he was owned by the A's last season, giving up 7 runs in 8 innings pitched. The offense should be able to get something going against him after only mustering 1 run on Thursday. On the other hand the A's were 2-0 against the Astros in Luzardo's starts last season, only allowing 2 runs per game. Give me the A's to win.

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Joe’s Pick Oakland Athletics -130

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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